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Large, Urban Birds Most Tolerant of People

Cara J

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With humans increasingly encroaching on wildlife habitat, it makes sense that some animals would be disturbed by their presence. However, over time, many species are growing accustomed to these encounters and are becoming more tolerant of humans. In a study recently published in Nature Communications, researchers from Brazil, New Zealand and the University of California Los Angeles examined characteristics of animals that help determine the extent to which they tolerate human presence. The research team led by Daniel Blumstein, a professor and chair of ecology and evolutionary biology at UCLA and senior author of the study, completed a meta-analysis of more than 75 studies on birds, mammals and lizards that examined species tolerance to human disturbance. The studies used a measure of flight initiation distance — how close you can get to an animal before it flies, runs or scampers away, Blumstein said. The team found that birds, which made up the majority of the studies in the meta-analysis, in more heavily populated urban areas are more tolerant than birds in rural areas in that they tolerated closer approaches from humans. Further, larger birds such as pelicans (genus Pelecanus) and black-backed gulls (Larus marinus) were more tolerant of humans than smaller [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/large-urban-birds-most-tolerant-of-people/

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